Tag Archives for " self control "

July 14, 2016

Recognizing Pride & Control

Written by Amber Lawton

Pouring fresh pressed juice into a glass bottle with a small opening, I became frustrated as I had to carefully pour to not lose any of the juice. Impatience began to kick in as I stood there holding the container in place attempting to not spill and waste any of the juice. After a few minutes of doing this I was reminded that we did have a funnel which would make this pouring process much easier. With the bottle three quarters of the way full I decided the funnel was futile, and continued to pour by hand. Of course, without fail I did end up spilling and losing some of my precious juice. Cleaning up the mess I began to regretfully think about not using the funnel. I could have rationalized the loss of a bit of juice. Seriously, it’s just juice. But I was not happy about the outcome. That mess on the counter though wasn’t just a loss of juice. The mess spoke to a bigger issue with control. Had I used the funnel I would have completed the task in less time, and not wasted an ounce of juice. Pridefully I decided I was better off without it. In the same way, when we don’t fully rely and trust God with everything in our life we cut ourselves off from His abundant resources.

When we neglect seeking God, then we are telling Him we don’t trust Him. We are essentially saying “I can deal with this better than the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”Control comes in many forms. There are times we don’t even recognize that we are trying to control a situation, person, or circumstance,in our lives until we have a mess that needs cleaning up. As a result, we have two issues to deal with: the main issue and the mess. We essentially remove the protection we would have had, had we not decided to exclude God.When we go to God we can trust and believe for a favorable outcome because He promises good to His children. In the case of the juice, it may seem like I had to exude more patience by pouring alone.In reality if I had been patient in the beginning I could have taken the time to consider ways to complete this task. I would have thought of the funnel much sooner.

Control is deceptive. We are convinced that we will know the outcome when we take charge. We believe we can handle everything if we keep our hands in the mix. However, we end up escalating the issue instead of diffusing the problem. When we take situations into our own hands we open the door for the enemy. We know the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Why do we continue to leave a way of entry for him? Like any thief the enemy is calculating. Robbers case houses to determine a pattern in the homeowner’s activity. They watch to see where they will have unseen, easy access. Experienced robbers have a well thought out plan. They have strategy for their entry, movements, timing, and exit, in hopes of plundering as much as possible. The same can be said about satan. He is waiting at the back door and watching windows to find an easy entry. He’s hoping you forget what happens when you open any area of your life to him. He’s counting on you to leave him room to have a foothold.

I watched a video on a pretty popular blog aimed at millennials to gain understanding and perspective on how young people are being targeted. The video was of a “modern” witch explaining magic. By all accounts this video was created to make witchcraft appear harmless. In the beginning of the video was exactly what is wrong with control. When asked why she was a witch, the young lady responded: “I don’t want to wait for God to answer my prayers. That’s why I’m a witch. It’s a way for me to effect change in my life, but isn’t necessarily a belief in a higher power that I’m devoted to that I pray to.” She didn’t want to wait on God. She wanted change in her life without devotion. This is the problem with trying to maintain control. This is the very reason we should steer clear of control, and instead commit our devotion to God. Control can be seen in possessiveness, dominance, and manipulation. All are considered forms of witchcraft. You may consider yourself to be very devoted to God, but I would dare ask how devoted are you if you can’t hand over everything to Him?

In my twenties I purchased a book from a famous book club that was described as enlightening in the way we see God and purpose. I watched as many Christians gave great reviews and esteemed this book as highly motivating in drawing them closer to God. As I read the book I was disturbed to find many principles that had nothing to do with God but continuously led back to self. Ego was the greatest factor in this book.The author encouraged readers to discover ‘the god within’ them. Masked with spirituality, and dripping with a hint of new age appeal, this book was teaching pride. The more I read the more I could see how control and pride go hand in hand. The book was teaching how to gain control of the now by seeking inward. Matthew 6:34 says: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

We are to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first. Before we settle on a plan, we should desire to consider God’s will and purpose. After all, every day ‘has enough trouble’. Proverbs 3:5­7 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding& in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes&fear the Lord and shun evil.” The scripture says to trust with all of our heart. When we lean on our own understanding we are missing key elements that only God could know and see. He may not reveal everything to us, but he will steer us clear of danger and crooked paths. Trust is the opposite of maintained control. When we are wise in our own eyes we are prideful. Yet, the fear of the Lord is what prompts us to fully trust Him and stay away from evil of any manner.

Today, be willing to open up to God about where you are in the area of control. Share with Him all your fears, or disappointments. Allow Him to release you from this bondage so you can walk freely on the straight path He places before you.

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